The weirdness of the Save 8 roadshow in Newbridge


"Oh, you're going to start quoting the pro-choice Irish Times are you?! Why don't you come over here and I'll give you some *real* statistics!".

So yelled the woman who appeared to be leading the Save the 8th road show in Newbridge, county Kildare yesterday. She was addressing a woman passerby who had stopped to talk to one of the No campaigners outside Whitewater Shopping Centre. It seems the passerby was not in agreement with the No campaigners and they definitely did not take it well.

The road show consisted of around 25 people, including young children, equipped with red flags & banners, branded clothing & placards. They also had a red tour bus with No campaign livery on the sides and a billboard truck.
Over the course of one hour, no less than four verbal altercations were witnessed between the No campaigners and local passersby who appeared angered by the No campaign's behaviour in the town. The Save the 8th road show had a billboard truck carrying a misleading billboard driving up and down the main street blaring out some strange choices in music.

The local Together for Yes campaign had a well attended stall set up nearby the No campaign group and they witnessed the needlessly belligerent behaviour of the anti-choice road show participants towards members of the public.

One young woman with her friends expressed her opposition to the No side and were met with a surprisingly angry response. The back and forth continued until the young woman tore up the leaflet the No campaign had given her. After the altercation the young woman and her friends stood talking close to the Yes campaigners for a short while before they departed.

A No campaigner tried to offer a woman a leaflet as she walked past them with her daughter and was angrily rebuffed, saying "She's twelve and I don't want to be talking to her about these things!". A man walking his dog similarly had a heated exchange with the No side. The Yes side fared better with multiple people approached them to thank them for their presence and efforts.

In one instance, two Yes campaigners were chatting near the cluster of flag waving No campaigners when a man wearing the distinctive red clothing of the roadshow appeared to be striding towards them, with the intention of barging through their conversation. Fortunately, both Yes campaigners are very experienced and just as the No campaigner was on top of them, they turned to greet him, smiling politely and saying hello. At this point the No campaigner faltered and smiled awkwardly, greeting them in return, and walked on towards his group without barging through the Yes campaigners.

Some cars were beeping in support of one campaign or other but it was hard to tell for which side except in one particularly amusing case where a car beeped, prompting a cheer from the No side, until the woman driving the car roared "Repeal the eighth!", resulting in the Yes campaigners bursting into cheers and laughter.

By 6:30pm the anti-choicers packed up after an hour of making lots of locals angry and wandered back to their expensive tour bus. At this point the Yes campaigners noticed they were being filmed by a blonde woman a silver BMW parked close to them. She may have been attempting to get some incriminating footage of Repealers responding to the persistent attempts by the road show leader to start an argument with them. This attempt was in vain as Yes campaigners simply ignored the No side and ultimately went away satisfied & roundly amused with the evenings events.